March 2 & 3, 2013
JFK PAINTING RETURNS TO ARTIST'S FAMILY AFTER 50 YEARS
Charleston, South Carolina^ (JFK+50) At last month's auction of Dave Power's Camelot possessions, a painting of John & Jacqueline Kennedy sailing was purchased by the artist's stepson.
The painting by Henry Koehler* was commissioned by Mrs. Kennedy as an anniversary gift for the President in 1963. She had seen & was impressed with Mr. Koehler's work in Sports Illustrated.
Henry Koehler, now 86 years old, continues to paint at his studio in Southamption, New York.
The artist was also commissioned to do 2 other paintings of Jack, Bobby & Ted on the Victura by JFK's sisters.
^JFK+50 is publishing from Charleston this weekend.
On November 22, 1963, with work in progress & having just met with one of the sisters for approval of the paintings, Mr. Koehler learned that JFK had been shot in Dallas, Texas.
Sometime later, he was informed the Kennedys wanted him to finish the paintings.
On February 3, 1964, Jacqueline Kennedy wrote these words to Mr. Koehler...
"You will never know how much the painting...means to me, & I shall treasure it forever."
So how did this treasured painting end up in Dave Power's collection?
Caroline Kennedy gave it to Mr. Powers in appreciation for his 30 years of service to the John F. Kennedy Library in Boston.
Anthony Mason, a CBS News correspondent, saw his step-father's painting at the auction in Amesbury, Massachusetts last month & decided to bid on it.
He received a call at 4:50 in the morning informing him that the painting was about to come up for bid.
In Mr. Mason's words, he won the auction by "outwait(ing) just about everybody."
The painting depicts Jack & Jacqueline Kennedy sailing in a dark blue sailboat with the President wearing a red shirt.
Mr. Koehler painted the background yellow "to make a stronger picture."
Now this treasured painting is back, as President Kennedy might have put it, "from whence it came."
www.cbsnews.com, "JFK painting finds its way back to artist 50 years later," March 1, 2013.
*Henry Koehler was born in Louisville, Kentucky in 1927 & graduated from Yale University. He has held more than 60 exhibitions since 1961 & in 1974 designed the US postage stamp commemorating the 100th running of the Kentucky Derby. Source: www.crossgategallery.com
**Anthony Mason was born in New York on June 23, 1956. He is co-anchor of CBS This Morning & a correspondent of business & economics for CBS.
Mr. Mason served as CBS Moscow correspondent from 1990-1993 & worked in London 1987-1990. He is a graduate of Georgetown University & lives in Rye, NY.
Ted & Jack on the Victura
JFK Library Photo